Former HDP politician gets jail sentence on terrorism charges

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HDP deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü

A high criminal court in the eastern province of Iğdır on Tuesday handed down a jail sentence of two years to former pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü on terrorism charges, the Bianet news website reported.

Kürkçü was given the jail sentence due to a speech he made in Iğdır on the occasion of the spring festival of Nevruz in 2016. He was convicted of disseminating terrorist propaganda.

The Iğdır High Criminal Court, which heard Kürkçü’s trial, did not suspend the sentence because the former deputy did not show any signs of remorse during the trial.

If an appeals court upholds the local court’s ruling, Kürkçü will be jailed.

The HDP has been one of the main targets of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since a coup attempt in July 2016, following which the government launched a massive crackdown on its opponents under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

According to a report prepared by the HDP on the occasion of Dec. 10, Human Rights Day, 16 former party deputies including the party’s former co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ as well as one current deputy are in jail.

In addition, there are 12 former HDP deputies who are currently not yet in jail but have been handed down jail sentences.

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